Thank You For Letting Us help With The Sale of Your House
Before You Even Get Started
Thank you for taking the time to meet with us and deciding to let us help with your house sale. Our team has helped hundreds of people in your shoes, and we look forward to helping you through your home sale as smoothly as possible.
Before we even get your home "on the market" there will be several things that can be done to maximize your dollars and reduce the time it takes to sell your property. Over the next several sections we'll go through the basics to get you prepared. If you want you can actually go through the entire guide to see what is coming next.
We hope that this guide can serve as a reference throughout the process. We explain and will go over so many items its easy to forget or get confused especially since most people don't sell more than a few houses in their entire lifetime. Hopefully this guide helps supplement our conversations so that what is to come, is always clear.
About Our Team
Just like any other service we believe that the combined resources of a well trained team can always out perform someone struggling to do everything on their own. Client satisfaction is always our top priority and we believe in "people over transactions". We believe because of this Adam and our team are currently ranked in the top 3 agents by production and volume halfway through 2020 in Westmoreland County.
Our team lead Adam Slivka is a licensed associate broker and has trained under many top real estate coaches throughout the country. With a background in education he has always believed that an educated client is a smarter client, and in turn a smarter client/seller is a seller with more money in their pocket at the end of the day.
Dave Nedley has the longest track record on our team and has serviced hundreds of clients for nearly 20 years. Dave's Integrity and service has helped him throughout a successful career running his own team, until he and Adam merged teams in 2018 to better serve their clients.
Greg Reilley has been an amazing agent on Adam's team and now the Adam Slivka & Dave Nedley team. Greg goes above and beyond for his clients and has vast transaction experience.
Shelly Myers has been helping clients buy and sell for years. Shelly worked extensively with helping Dave better serve his clients along with her own. Shelly brings knowledge and hardwork to every transaction.
Ashley Checque is a full-time licensed agent who primarily serves as Adam's assistant and transaction manager for the team. She allows everyone else to focus more on the client while ensuring paperwork is appropriately taken care of behind the scenes. She shares the common passion of service that we all do and takes pleasure in making things easier for our clients.
Jonna Nedley is the newest member to our team. She has previous experience as an agent prior to finishing college and pursuing a corporate career. Jonna has a strong ambition and brings first hand knowledge of real estate investment to the table.
Expenses Associated with Selling Your House
Prepping The House For Photography & Sale
Attached you'll find our general staging guideline for getting ready to show your home. In addition because the pictures are perhaps one of the most important marketing pieces you will want your home in the cleanest, most organized fashion as possible. Below are suggestions to make sure your photographs turn out as well as possible.
- Every floor cleaned (vacuum all carpets, swifter/mop all hardwood floors)
- Dust all surfaces (countertops, furniture, etc)
- Make beds neatly, fluff pillows
- Turn off all televisions and computer screens
- Every light and lamp turned ON
- Clutter off of all surfaces including countertops, islands, kitchen table, dining room table, desk, nightstands, bathroom sinks
- All fans turned OFF
- No dishes inside of sink
- No evidence of pets (no pet bowls, crates, toys, etc)
- Glass shower doors cleaned
- Toilet seats down
- Fresh towels in bathroom and kitchen (or no towels at all)
- Remove toiletries from countertops and showers
- All clothes, shoes, kids toys, jackets hidden in closets or put away
- Moving boxes hidden or put away
- Cleaning supplies hidden or put away
- Clean windows
- Open blinds or curtains to let natural light in
- Clean refrigerator of magnets, papers, mail, etc
- Straighten all dining room chairs
- Clear nightstands of personal items
- No cars in driveway or directly in front of house
- Garbage cans hidden
- Garage door shut
- Uncover porch or patio furniture
- Clean and declutter porch/patio and backyard and front yard
- Grass freshly cut
- Hedges and bushes trimmed
- Clean pool
Paperwork & Other Items needed before Listing
Prior to getting your house officially on the market and ready to be shown we will need to gather a few last items from you:
1. The seller's disclosure statement Seller_Disclosure_Statement.pdf
2. The utilities document utilities.pdf
3. A key for a point of entry, typically the front door
4 A list of any items we will be excluding from the sale. The contract automatically will include all fixtures as included items.
“INCLUDED in this sale, unless otherwise stated, are all existing items permanently installed in or on the Property, free of liens, and other items including plumbing; heating; gas fireplace logs; radiator covers; hardwired security systems; thermostats; lighting fixtures (including chandeliers and ceiling fans); pools, spas and hot tubs (including covers and cleaning equipment); electric animal fencing systems (excluding collars); garage door openers and transmitters; mounting brackets and hardware for television and sound equipment; unpotted shrubbery, plantings and trees; smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; sump pumps; storage sheds; fences; mailboxes; wall to wall carpeting; existing window screens, storm windows and screen/storm doors; window covering hardware (including rods and brackets), shades and blinds; awnings; central vacuum system (with attachments); built-in air conditioners; built-in appliances; the range/oven; dishwashers; trash compactors; any remaining heating and cooking fuels stored on the Property at the time of settlement; and, if owned, solar panels, windmills, water treatment systems, propane tanks and satellite dishes. Unless stated otherwise, the following items are included in the sale, at no additional cost”
5. If we don't already have it a best phone number and email address
Now That We Are Officially "Listed"
The Lockbox & Sign
1. Unless previously discussed prior we will be adding a lockbox to your front door or secured nearby. The lockbox is steel coated with rubber and can only be opened by another agent using an isupra lockbox app. It also cannot be opened later in the evening until early morning by anyone including myself due to programming.
2. Also a yard sign will be installed in the yard. It can take anywhere from 1-5 business days. (please let us know if one has not been installed in that time frame).
How Showings Work
While we likely have discussed this in person showings typically work in this fashion for occupied homes:
1. A buyer contacts their agent after seeing it online and asks to view your house
2. The buyer's agent will reach out to SHOWINGTIME and request a particular time to view the home, i.e. 3 PM Wednesday. SHOWINGTIME will then reach out to you via phone, text, and/or email and confirm that time is acceptable. If it is they will let the buyer's agent know they are good to go, then text you and I the confirmation of who and when.
3. Approximately 10-15 minutes before the showing it's suggested you vacate your home. During showings it is best not to be present, it WILL make potential buyers uncomfortable.
4. While incidents of theft are very uncommon in the industry as a whole, we believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do not leave cash, prescriptions, jewelry, small valuables, credit cards, firearms, or the like where they could easily be accessed by home visitors. Utilize a safe,locking storage, or take it with you.
5. Please do your best to accommodate all showings. While we ask other agents to provide us with ample notice, they can only do so when their clients do the same. The risk is them finding another home prior to them viewing yours.
6. Showings will take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour with most being 30 minutes long. So ideally we recommend being gone for an hour, but 30 minutes after the scheduled showing will usually suffice.
7. If a showing is taking place during dark hours we highly recommend turning all lights on ahead of time. Please note sometimes lights will be left on or turned off despite what we ask other agents to do. If you will not be occupying the home during the sale please arrange for a neighbor or friend to check in from time to time.
8. If your home is secured by an alarm system, please turn it off prior to showings or at least make sure you have provided us with your alarm code. (Many companies can set up a second code and this is what we highly suggest)
9. After showing a feedback form is emailed automatically to the showing agent. Once they complete it we will forward it to you. As far as how to use the feedback we suggest considering the fact that opinions are like...well you know the rest. In all honesty what we want to focus on is common themes. For example if 5 out of 6 showings all came back and said your house smells like a wet dog, you will want to address the smell. Other items that sometimes come up are things we can't change but may have to consider altering other factors such as the price to fix. Things like the kitchens and baths are way too dated, or the house is too close to the road, or its too small; all are things realistically that can't be fixed.
Everything Else Before We Get an Offer
While we sell many homes within a short period of listing this is not always the case for several reasons. Fortunately/unfortunately it really boils down to only a few things we can control.
1.Marketing - is what we do best. What we do has been tested with tens of thousands of dollars and we do this to make sure 99.9% of the time marketing is not the issue.
2. The condition of the house - This is where you come into the equation more so than us. We will give you suggestions on making your home show as well as possible, however if it's dated, not well kept, or in disrepair it may cause the home not to sell.
3 Price - the 800 pound gorilla in the room and the one factor that can control or out weigh all others. Everything is related to price; the market conditions, demand, and of course condition and size of the home. Unfortunately or fortunately however you look at it, when a home isn't selling that has great exposure its because the price is wrong.
During the process we want to keep you updated and we will be sending you updates on just listed/sold competition in your area. We will also send you market updates when and if things change from day 1. Last we will keep you up to speed on the marketing results...in other words how many views you are getting on social media.
We Accepted an Offer, What Next?
While you can technically take care of these as early as you would like (and usually its better to do them asap), if you haven't yet; now is the time to get them down. These requirements typical breakdown into two categories:
1. Sewer testing - Depending on the municipality you will be required to have a dye test and/or lateral line inspection of your waste water disposal system ie: sewer. If it is solely a dye test, this typically consists of the municipality testing to ensure you don't have rain or runoff water entering into the public sewage system. They may check items like your downspouts to ensure where they are dumping the rain water. The more evasive and expensive test many municipalities require also includes a lateral line inspection. In this case they run a camera through your sewer lines looking for breaks, or any other condition that may be an issue. If an issue arises it is typically your responsibility to correct the issue. Unfortunately once the issue is found the municipality will force you to bring it up to code or they will not release what is called a lien letter thus making it impossible to secure title insurance on your buyer's behalf which in turn will stop their loan.
2. Occupancy inspections - Some municipalities require an occupancy inspection to be completed prior to the new owner being allowed to occupy the house. While requirements vary greatly from area to area this inspection can include items such as fire rated doors, GFCI receptacles near water sources, functioning windows, etc. This inspection is similar to the municipal test in the fashion that it could prevent the home from being sell-able. Similar to the municipal requirements it is the seller's obligation to make the required repairs.
In the case that your buyer elected for a home inspection (99 out of 100 times), they will have a timeline for for hiring a home inspector to check for issues with the home, including but not limited to: water intrusion, mold, radon, structural, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. This process generally takes 2-3 hours and in some cases with larger homes or slower inspectors another hour or so. Just like showings, its best not to be present.
Remember for all inspections, you must have all utilities on, a clear path to heating and cooling systems, the electrical panel, water shut off, & attic access points.
After the inspection, the buyer has 3 choices. The first and best is they simply accept the property as is. The second and worst is they terminate based on the home inspector's findings. The third (and most likely) the will ask for certain repairs to be made or credits to be given to make repairs to the property. In this case we do have the ability to negotiate, but the realistic expectation is to deal with any health and safety issues that may exist.
Usually after the home inspection, but possibly before the house will be assessed by a licensed appraiser. This is done as part of the buyer's mortgage process and is the bank's way of assessing the risk of lending on your home. The appraiser is typically hired through a third party appraisal company in order to comply with lending regulations. The best approach is to have the home prepped just like you would for a showing. You can be present for the appraisal, but in most cases "selling" your home to the appraiser is a bad idea. Simply welcome them in if you are home and let them know if they have any questions you are happy to answer them. The appraisal is typically the last hurdle in the process and once your home hopefully automagically appraises at the sales price we are pretty much in the clear. Should your home not appraise at value, all is not lost. Many times the price and seller assists can be adjusted to minimize the losses of a bad appraisal. Worst case you can choose to take a loss in sales price, or terminate the deal if the buyer cannot afford to bring extra money to the transaction.
Seller Docs From The Closing Company
At some point during the transaction the buyer's closing company will provide us with a questionaire of information they will need from you to close on the property. They will require the payoff contact for your lender or any lien holders on the property. Additionally they will need to know whether you will be attending the closing in person or making arrangements to sign ahead of time. If you are acting as a POA or trustee any original documention will need to be submitted to them. Last they will need an EIN or social security number as they will need to report to the IRS for the possible case of capital gains taxes being owed. In most cases of a personal residence where you have lived there 2+ years capital gains will not be owed, but consulting with an accountant is the only accurate way to know for sure.
Utility Final Readings
Approximately a week prior to closing you will need to contact your utility providers and schedule a final reading for the day of closing. DO NOT order a shuttoff, it can cause complications where utilities are turned off prior to the final walkthrough. Should the day of closing get changed or delayed after you make these calls, you will unfortunately need to call back and adjust the dates.
Preparing For The Final Walk through
What To Bring To Closing
On the day of the closing if you have decided to attend, you will need to bring a few items with you.
The first is your driver's licence or another valid photo id.
Second will be any and all keys, garage door remotes, and any codes for garages, or other doors
Any reciepts for any work that was done as part of home inspections
My House Is SOLD Now What?
At the closing you will most importantly recieve a check or money wire in the amount of the proceeds you were due. You will alo recieve a signed copy of the final ALTA, which you will want to hang onto for tax filings the folowing year. In many cases there will be items that are tax deductible.
Wrapping Things Up
Hopefully the whole process goes as smooth as possible and you're excited to refer our services to anyone you know who may be thinking of making a move. Even though the transaction is complete should you ever have any real estate related questions we are happy to help.
Wait, I get MORE money!?
After the closing has taken place you will likely recieve a few more small amounts of proceeds in the following fashions.
First you will likely be recieving a refund from the water and sewage authories. At closing some amount of proceeds were withheld for a final water and sewage bill (the amount is always well in excess of the actual bill) and onced squared up both authorities will send the difference back to your forwarding address.
Second when you cancel your home owners policy (only after the property has closed) you will be entitled to a pro-rated refund of the premium.
Finally if you had a mortgage that was satisfied as a result of the sale, you will recieve the balance of your escrow account in 3-4 weeks post closing.